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Gokada Suspends Services To Address Poor Services, Retrain Drivers And Improve Customers' Satisfaction

Gokada, a Lagos-based on-demand motorcycle taxi-hailing app, has suspended its services.

In a statement sent to users on Wednesday, Gokada said the compulsory break would last for 12 days beginning from Wednesday, August 14 to Sunday, August 25.

“We are dedicated to rewriting the ills the motorcycle taxis represent. This has nudged us to take this compulsory break of 12 days which begins Today, Wednesday, August 14th 2019 to the 25th August 2019,” it said.

“We will be back Monday, August 26th, with retrained drivers who are safety conscious, clean, courteous and are better with driving and navigation.

“Other features to expect include better traffic law-abiding pilots, brand new bikes amongst other things.

“We are deliberate in our commitment to revamping the narrative of transportation.”

In a statement on his Medium page, Fahim Saleh, Gokada CEO, said the company has failed in some ways despite succeeding in others. Read his post below...


So what’s going on? Well, a little over a week ago I had taken a Gokada hoping to avoid traffic to get to the mainland bridge from VI. From there I planned to take a car. I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. 5 minutes pass by.. and the pilot had not moved. Another 5 minutes pass and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After 15 minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived at which point I’m thinking it might have been faster to take a car all the way through. 

Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken. Irritated, I motioned him to get started with the ride as I was in a hurry. It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10–15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road.

How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this? I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. “This is what it has come to,” I thought.

I made a decision right then that things needed to change.

It’s not easy criticizing your own company. But either I could ignore these issues and move along happily like everything was fine. Or I could realize that this kind of thing is happening to our customer's thousands of times over. I am not ok with that.

Gokada was started to change the perception of what the bike taxi could be in terms of safety, convenience, and transparency. In many ways, we’ve succeeded but we have also failed. We can only win by doing right to our customers and our pilots. That is why today I am excited to announce our Gokada 2.0 initiative.

What can you expect?

Brand new bikes
Much better quality and sexy as hell.

All drivers retrained
We’re closing shop to retrain our drivers in customer service, hygiene, driving, and navigation use.

Higher safety measures
Maximum speeds, adhering to all traffic laws, new Bluetooth helmets.

Happier drivers
We’re offering drivers more: maintaining their bikes for free, opening a drivers club, and expanding our health benefits.

The company, which started operations in February 2018, said it was already completing 5,000 rides a day during its one-year anniversary.

It recently raised $5.3 million in a Series A fundraiser.

Despite being a new enterprise, the motorcycle taxi-hailing space has witnessed rapid expansion with the entry of O’Ride and Maxng.

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